As is often the case with tragedy, from the dark and crushing details of Reb Reuven Chaim Biller’s passing have come many uplifting stories of a special soul.
Reb Biller zt”l’s involvement with many different communities during his lifetime left Jews of all stripes mourning his loss.
Many knew him as a son: His father, ybl”c, Reb Dovid, was one of the original members of Hatzolah. Those connected to emergency response, therefore, knew Reb Biller as the beloved child of the one of the founding pillars of one of the organizations which has impacted klal yisroel most in recent generations. During a previous tragedy in his family, those who knew the Billers marveled at Reb Reuven Chaim’s commitment to kibud av v’eim.
Hundreds knew him as a mechanech: Reb Biller taught fourth grade for 14 years before becoming a principal in Mosdos Kehilas Yaakov, Pupa in Boro Park. For nearly ten years, Reb Biller served as head counselor at Pupa’s Swan Lake summer camp. He was also a member of staff of Skverer-Boro Park’s camp. He taught his talmidim with a visible simchas hachaim. It is known that a good Rebbe has a life-long impact on his talmid.
Many knew him as a chassid: Reb Reuven Chaim developed a close relationship with the Slonimer Rebbe during his yeshiva days in Bnei Brak. At the levaya a family member mournfully recalled that he was “a very happy and easygoing person… [yet] when it came to avodas Hashem …. He could be very strong.”
Others, however, knew him simply as a father and husband: Together with his wife Shiffy, he was father to 8 children, the youngest of which is just 4 years old. This is, of course, is the most devastating loss of all. A rebbe, a principal, and a community leader can be tearfully replaced. But to the Biller family the loss of their father is a void which can never be filled.
The legacy of Reb Reuven Chaim Biller will live on, untouched. His family, however, must continue in the face of devastation. His widow, Rebbetzin Shiffy Biller, is now solely responsible for financially sustaining his household. This crushing responsibility, in addition to her loss, is unthinkable. For this reason many have united from around the world to help. Funds go toward basic bills and expenses. For while the shock of this lost life can only sting for a limited time, Rebbetzin Biller has a lifetime of caring for her children ahead of her.
Those who wish to comfort her through that future, through school, camps, and marrying off children alone, can do so here for a limited time.